Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Our Good Fortune

We have been very fortunate to discover the joys of Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events on audio.

Oh, what dire and calamitous events befall those poor and hapless Baudelaire orphans. Ahhhhh, but with such literary occasion! The bereaved children and their clever narrator are never short on words to describe their disastrous circumstances-- words such as nefarious, treacherous, and lampooned. The events themselves provide plentiful opportunity for teaching literary concepts as well as historical bits of interest and a smattering of science to boot.

Simeon is not old enough to read these books on his own just yet, but he has been listening to them on audio. We are on book the fifth, The Hostile Hospital, and enjoying it thoroughly.

Here is a link to a PDF file of an Unfortunate Events Activity Kit for 3rd to 5th graders. I particularly liked the crossword that uses baby Sunny's amusing baby babble words.

The official activity book for this series is called Puzzling Puzzles: Bothersome Games that will Bother Some People.

Delightfully annoying I am sure!

7 comments:

Michelle said...

Oh, I will have to look into this. I've read all but the last book, and know my kids will enjoy them. But I will admit that there are some people (some too serious adults?) for whom the humor just doesn't fit.

Suzanne Temple said...

I wondered myself if some people just might not appreciate the humor, but it works for us!

Kelly said...

I liked how the series read, but in the end, I had some serious issues with the worldview that the author presented. I held out until The End, but I just didn't agree with his conclusion. I will keep them for an older reader, and look forward to some good philosophical discussions resulting from the series.

Crafty Mom said...

I can see your point of view about the vocabulary. As an adult reader it drove me crazy how each "big" word was always explained. I felt it didn't challenge the reader to figure it out from context. But it still gives them an ever increasing vocabulary, and what boy doesn't love words like treacherous and disastrous?

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that this series was of the "unapproved" variety from a Catholic perspective, alongside Harry Potter, et al. Am I mistaken? Can anyone help me with this?

Suzanne Temple said...

anon, I'm not sure what you would be referring to.

Sarah said...

Bob and I read (actually, listened) this series last year, and LOVED them all. Though I don't know what anon is talking about with the "approved" - I mean, there are uncomfortable topics, yes, and it is the series of unfortunate events, but the vocabulary, the suspense, the plots...we liked them. I agree that the worldview was a little...negative. But wasn't that the point? Wasn't there irony in that? Wasn't there some pulling of your own hair throughout, some questioning and laughing at yourself for conclusions you've drawn, some admitting when you've maybe been too stuffy? (OK, maybe not, but for me there was.) After a while, for me, the explaining the vocab was just part of the narrator's style, like how some people will never explain things and assume you know (annoying adults, most of them).